Early Learning

The best way for your child to learn is through play and having fun.

What do we do?


Sharing books with your children is fun!  It’s a time for closeness, laughing and talking.  School might seem a very long way off, but you’ll be helping even the youngest of children learn the skills they’ll need later on.

Our online Bookstart sessions take place over five weeks, and in each session we will explore how sharing books, stories and rhymes can help your child learn and develop.  We might dress up, we might sing songs, or we might make puppets!  Whatever we do, the sessions are fun and interactive, and we’ll show you how you can carry on at home on your own.

On top of that, every child who attends will receive a Bookstart pack which is jammed full of activities and a free book!

What you said:

“Bookstart has reminded me of the different ways I can support my youngest with her speech as she is trying her hardest to say words. I am now using more actions as I talk and sing with her.”

Early Words Together

Over the course of five weeks, we will explore activities which not only give you and your children fun things to do, but also help them with their reading and speaking skills.  We will sing together, read, act out our favourite stories and get involved with some crafty projects!  The Early Words Together programme is a nationally recognized programme, created by the National Literacy Trust, and you’ll be amazed at how much your child will learn, just through the bits and bobs you’ve got at home, old magazines, birds in the garden – the list is endless.

What you said:

“The Early Words Together course has really helped my confidence to help [my child]. I know what I can do to help him, all the crafts and things have really helped, and he is also more confident at doing these things now. Before he used to take books off us and put them back on the shelf, now he will really sit and engage in the book with me or my husband.”

Five to Thrive

Five to Thrive LogoBy joining Five to Thrive you will take part in six fun filled practical sessions where we share ideas to help you support your child’s brain to grow.  There will be handouts, activities to try at home as well as time to chat and share with other families.  We know that a child’s body grows better when we give the child good food, and just in the same way your child’s brain grows better when you do five simple things that feed the growing brain – Respond, Engage, Relax, Play, Talk.  And that is Five to Thrive!

Still not convinced?  Did you know that nearly all our brain cells are in place when we’re born, about a hundred billion of them, but they aren’t yet working?  They only really start to work, and the brain only begins to grow, when connections are made between the cells in response to what is happening to us and around us.

In the first year of life the brain doubles in size, with a million connections forming every second in your baby’s brain, and in the first three years the brain grows and changes faster than it ever will again.  This means that everything happening to your baby is shaping their brain, and the most important thing that happens to your baby is you!  Everything you do when you are with your baby sparks connections in their brain, turning connections into pathways that the child can use again.

What you said:

“The five to thrive approach has really got me thinking about my responses to my child’s behaviour, and given me more strategies to use to manage his behaviour which has really increased my confidence. The five to thrive approach has also just been really thought provoking for me in terms of what else could be impacting upon my child’s behaviour.”

Ready to start school transitions

Starting school can feel scary, both for children and their parents, but the good news is that there are lots of things you can do to help your child feel much more ready.  For children who are still years away from starting school, any of the activity sessions listed above will help, but if your child is nearing school age now then one of our transition sessions is just the thing you need.

We will look at the top ten tips which will make your child confident and excited about school.  We will look at the simple things you can do at home to build on the skills which will help your child settle really quickly into their new school life so that they can learn and grow.  All of this will help them become happy little learners!

What you said:

“We attended a really helpful transition course. The emotions aspect was so good, especially for our son with his anxiety. We are still exploring the resources and using the support given. We didn’t understand how much we could help with him understanding his emotions, what they are called. He has really started responding to this now.”

Play and connect groups

Join us for activities, stories and songs.  Meet other parents and let the children have fun together!  You will also receive activity ideas, information about how you can help your child grow and develop, and how you can make your home a safer place.

What you said:

“Really inspiring and particularly like that you don’t have to spend lots of money. We have enjoyed things like pasta games and making marks using water (squeezy bottles) or twigs and water. Has really helped the children.”

Free childcare

Do you know about the Better2gether Funding? You may be eligible for 15 hours per week free childcare. Do you know about three and four year old funding? All families are entitled to 570 hours free childcare per year. Please contact us to find out more and let us take the work out of applying for you.  You can also find out more on the Wiltshire Council website.